Working-age employment rate within the UK

The employment rate in each UK country has risen over the past 20 years, particularly in the last seven years, following post-recession employment falls.

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Link to source: Labour Force Survey

In the past 20 years there have been large increases in the employment rates of 16- to 64-year-olds. These have varied across the UK, ranging from 4 percentage points in England to 7 percentage points in Wales and Northern Ireland.

The increases in the last seven years were larger than in other periods but these followed falls in employment after the 2008/09 recession. In Scotland the net change in the employment rate between 2007 and 2019 has been only just above zero.

Throughout the past 20 years, England and Scotland have had the highest employment rates, with Northern Ireland having the lowest. The increase in the employment rate in Wales has been particularly marked – almost completely closing the gap with England and Scotland.